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Bebop Spoken There

Charles McPherson: “Jazz is best heard in intimate places”. (DownBeat, July, 2024).

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

'606' Club: "A toast to Lance Liddle of the terrific jazz blog 'Bebop Spoken Here'"

The Strictly Smokin' Big Band included Be Bop Spoken Here (sic) in their 5 Favourite Jazz Blogs.

Ann Braithwaite (Braithwaite & Katz Communications) You’re the BEST!

Holly Cooper, Mouthpiece Music: "Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.


16590 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 483 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (July 14).

From This Moment On ...


Fri 19: Luis Verde with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 19: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 19: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 19: Luis Verde with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.
Fri 19: Zoë Gilby Trio @ Seventeen Nineteen, Hendon, Sunderland. 7:30pm.

Sat 20: Snake Davis & Helen Watson Duo @ Chopwell Community Centre NE17 7HZ. 7:30pm. £17.50.

Sun 21: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 21: Salty Dog @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm.
Sun 21: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free. Sun 21: The Big Easy @ The White Room, Stanley. 5:00pm.
Sun 21: Ben Crosland Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 22: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 23: Nomade Swing Trio @ Newcastle House Hotel, Rothbury. 7:30pm. £10.00. Tickets from Tully’s of Rothbury or at the door (cash only). A Coquetdale Jazz event.

Wed 24: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 24: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 24: The Ronnie Scott’s Story @ The Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Wed 24: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 24: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Cafédral, Owengate, Durham. 9:00pm. £9.00. & £6.00. A Durham Fringe Festival event.

Thu 25: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 25: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Garry Hadfield (keys); Noel Dennis (tpt); Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Adrian Beadnell (bass).
Thu 25: Milne-Glendinning Band @ Cafédral, Owengate, Durham. 9:00pm. £9.00. & £6.00. A Durham Fringe Festival event.

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Emma Smith: Take on Mingus @ The Jazz Bar, Edinburgh - July 24

Emma Smith (double bass); Alina Bzhezhinska (harp); Helena Kay (tenor sax); Davide L Rinaldi (drums); Annabel Kershaw (piano); Niamh Molloy (cello)

Emma Smith’s ‘dream ensemble’ completely captivated and inspired a packed Edinburgh Jazz Bar on Sunday night. Commissioned by EJBF, Smith gathered an outstanding group of musicians who spent two days in two rehearsal rooms exploring the writing and music of Charles Mingus.

Their task – to place Mingus’ work in a modern context. Collaborating in various formations (from duo to sextet), exploring eight themes identified in his words, and using fragments taken from Mingus tunes, they produced a programme that captured the essence of Mingus while firmly asserting their own ’take’ on the contemporary relevance of his work.

Preview: Indigo Jazz Voices Special Event With Guest Musicians -August 11 @ The Globe

Alan Law (piano); David Gray (trombone); Elliott Todd (trumpet); Thomas Dixon (tenor sax); Paul Grainger (bass); Rob Walker (drums)+  

Individual singers: Carrie McCullock; Jenny Lingham; David Edgar; Paul Close; Jen Errington

It's worth a trip to the Globe to hear these singers with their talented accompanist Alan Law, but what you get on this extra special night are extra special horn players in the shape of Messrs Gray, Todd and Dixon. Then add the skills of Messrs Grainger and Walker, and you have an evening not to be missed. And all this for £5 cash on the door, beginning at 7.45pm

Songs will include a fair selection of ballads, blues, bossa and swing.

Watch this space to learn more! Ann Alex

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Aycliffe Radio: Jazz Time Sundays 6.30pm- 8.00pm (Repeat Tuesdays 8.00-9.30 p.m.)

Playlist 31/07/22. (Repeated Tuesday 2/08/22)


Requests: Clifford Brown & Max Roach, Ella Fitzgerald, Red Allen All Stars.

Birthdays: Hank Jones, Kris Berg w Delfeayo Marsalis, Charlie Christian, Joe Pass, Don Redman.

New Release: Matt Carmichael.

What’s on in the NE: Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Paul Edis, James Brady, Savannah Jazz Band, Swing Manouche.

Year of Charles Mingus: Charlie Mingus  Sextet - Feat. Eric Dolphy.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Album review: Dave Slonaker Big Band - Convergency

The big band era as it once was may be gone inasmuch as large ensembles no longer criss-cross America playing one-nighters, riding in band buses that wouldn't have passed an MOT test even if there had been one back then whilst their leaders rode ahead in Lincolns, Fords, Chevys and Cadillacs.

However, in many ways the current big band scene is better than ever and the musicianship is even higher. No appeasing the song pluggers with hit parade covers or singers sitting at the side of the stage, forlornly smiling, awaiting the call.

'58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool - July 28

Kevin Eland (trumpet, flugelhorn); Dan Johnson (tenor sax); Django Zazou (trombone, vocals); Dave Archbold (keyboards); Ron Smith (bass guitar); Mark Hawkins (drums) + Jan Spencelayh (vocals)

The Studio on Tower Street used to be home to Musicians Unlimited's weekly Sunday lunchtime session. Now, just across the road, Hops and Cheese is the place to go to hear some jazz. Last Thursday in the month it's the '58 Jazz Collective plus guests. This month the sextet would be joined by vocalist Jan Spencelayh. 

Jazz on the Tyne – Saxophone Special

The saxophone takes a leading role on the latest edition of Jazz on the Tyne.  Presenter Colin Muirhead will preview gigs in the North East by the Abbie Finn Trio, the Julian Costello Quartet and Knats; play new music by Night Porter (Nishla Smith & Emma Johnson) and Matt Carmichael; and pay tribute to Barbara Thompson.  He’ll also feature tracks by Archipelago, Will Bartlett & Sam Walker, Colin Towns’ Mask Quintet, and Paul Booth.

Sage Gateshead Artist in Residence Geoff Kirkwood curates genre-blurring night of live music in celebration of North East culture and identity

(Press release)

  • Geoff Kirkwood, Sage Gateshead Artist in Residence, has curated an evening of music with performances from William Basinski, Tom Ravenscroft, the Royal Northern Sinfonia, and his alias Bed Wetter.
  • His new composition in collaboration with Fiona Brice ‘NXS8’ will be premiered with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and features visuals from local emerging filmmakers.
  • As a celebration of and tribute to working-class voices and dance culture in the North East, the performance will blend electronic music, contemporary classical music, experimental music and DJ culture.

The Sound of Science (Documentary Film)

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Remembering the Downbeat Club, the EmCee Five and Scott Dobson

This item from the Evening Chronicle archives may spark a few memories amongst our older readers as well introducing younger ones to a legendary Newcastle jazz club that sparkled briefly and brightly over 60 years ago. 

As the article reveals, the Downbeat Club was the brainchild of the late Malcolm Cecil who went on to achieve fame not just as a top bass player but also as a record producer and an innovative electronics engineer who revolutionised synthesizers and their possibilities forever - he was a genius.

La Sonora Boreal's Latin Jam Session - Tonight!

A jam session with a difference tonight at the Globe - a Latin jam. Beat your bongos, shake your shakers, move your maracas, be clever with your clavés or simply just shout Olay! or a staccato O! as the hypnotic rhythm moves you. 

Começar @ 7:45pm - Lance

Zoë Gilby @ the 606 this weekend

This Sunday, down in deepest Chelsea, northeast jazz superstar Zoë Gilby struts her stuff at the 606 Club. The band originally included Tony Kofi but Tonv is somewhere in France so, replacing the best with the best, we now have Jason Yarde blowing sax alongside Paul Edis (piano); Andy Champion (bass) and Joel Prime (drums).

Zoë tells me the sets will include a mix of material from her Aurora project, her Thelonious Monk project, Pannonica, as well as some original compositions and more...

It's an 8:00pm start so don't be late - Lance


 (Press release)

Featuring Renditions Of Cohen’s Songs Performed By An Extraordinary Line-Up Of Guest Vocalists

“Coming Back To You” by James Taylor Is Out Today And Available To Listen To HERE


Norah Jones  Peter Gabriel  Gregory • Sarah McLachlan  Luciana Souza  James Taylor • Iggy Pop  Mavis Staples  David  Gray  Nathaniel Rateliff


New Album Produced By Larry Klein Is Released On October 14th 2022

**The album features an exceptional core band including Bill Frisell, Immanuel Wilkins, Kevin Hays, Scott Colley and Nate Smith**

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Busking Patrick Cromb - July 27

Spotted busking at Monument, Black Swan regular Patrick Cromb sang a selection of standards and pop hits. Catch Patrick around town - Black Swan, Prohibition Bar and maybe the Central Bar jam session at the Gateshead end of the High Level Bridge (next one Monday 8 August). Russell

Jazz is where you find it - clutching at straws...

I called in to one of my local pubs the other day to shelter from an unexpected deluge and, after ordering a soupcon of ale, I observed a box of drinking straws. 

Nothing unusual in that you might think other than that the box of straws bore the name Jazz Café. Could this, I wondered, have been Keith Crombie's last throw of the dice? I'm afraid not but it just goes to prove that whether it be drinking straws, apples, perfumes, hairdressers or Hyundai cars jazz still has pulling power.

Last Exit to stardom!

Browsing, as one does, in one's local independent real ale bottle (increasingly can) shop, this one stood out a mile! Courtesy of the award-winning Allendale Brewery, a New England IPA at 5.8%, Last Exit! Is there anyone out there doesn't get the local - Tyneside - jazz connection? Russell

The Black Swan jam session - July 26

Stu Collingwood (piano); John Pope (double bass); Michael Mather (drums) + (in order of appearance) Nigel Greenwood (alto sax); David Gray (trombone); Martin Schultz (piano); Kris Finney (drums); Ben Davies (guitar); Esther Coombes (alto sax, clarinet); Alon Dagan (piano); ? (drums); Paul Gowland (alto sax, vocals); Edgar Bell (cornet); Kit Giroux (vocals); ? (vocals); Ian Dreever (vocals); ? (guitar); ? (vocals)

The Black Swan jam session invariably draws a crowd and a slew of big hitters. This evening the Newcastle city centre Westgate Road basement venue was up against the England versus Sweden football match on BBC TV. The house trio turned up on time (Stu Collingwood, John Pope and Michael Mather), as did the keen as mustard Edgar Bell and Kris Finney. Later in the evening the place would fill up a little and, as ever, one or two surprises made it all worthwhile. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Globe Summer Festival - This Weekend

For details go HERE!

Album review: Louis Dowdeswell Big Band - High Score

Louis Dowdeswell is a phenomenon. Playing high Cs and above is one thing, sustaining a succession of ear-splitting notes with laser-like accuracy is altogether something else. The trumpet ace has several things in his favour - youth (he's still in his twenties), the lung power afforded to youth, and that short supply commodity called 'talent'. High Score brings together an array of top drawer musicians (Pete Long and Wayne Bergeron are on board), the arranging skills of Callum Au, and a clear focus on, for want of a better term, the 'project'.

Press Release – JazzLeeds celebrates its 15th birthday this September!

Our fifteenth birthday! It's been lots of fun since we started in the Seven Arts in September 2007We have a lot of people to thank for helping us put on some of the best jazz around - and to pick up a couple of jazz awards along the way!  

Why not come and help us celebrate at the Chapel Allerton Arts Festival 1-4 September – four jazz events to choose from – try all of them!

The focus is on FUN – we have jazz and dance, jazz and silent movies, the best contemporary music and an open-air Jazz Sunday for all the family!

Let the good times roll!

Monday, July 25, 2022

Greg Abate Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - July 24

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Greg Abate (alto sax/flute); Paul Hartley (guitar); Ken Marley (bass); Phil Bennett (drums)

Although the outside temperature had some what cooled down, inside the Railway things were getting hotter by the minute as Greg Abate opened up with his version of Johnny Mercer’s I Remember You. This went down well with the audience and I dare say there were a quite a few present who  remembered Frank Ifield having a big hit with the same tune. Greg played mostly alto sax but he gave his flute an airing on the Sonny Rollins' Latin flavoured number St Thomas and also in the second set when he did a great version of Angel Eyes. A tune that he likes to feature in his shows is that beautiful Lee Morgan composition Ceora and his rendition was perfect as always.

J's & B's update

August 7: Mick Shoulder's Swing Manouche

            Mick Shoulder, Dave Smith - guitars
            Martin Winning - clarinet
            Paul Grainger - bass

September 18: David Gray's Flextet 

            David Gray - trombone & vocals
            Adam Sams - guitar
            Alan Law - keyboard
            Paul Grainger - bass
            Michael Mather - drums

Sundays at 3pm. In the garden if fine otherwise inside the church. Free entry, donations welcome.

Tonite! Big bands flying high in the Sky

Tonight (Monday) on Sky Arts (8:00pm) it's Len Phillips Swing Orchestra's 100 Years of Big Bands. In a concert recorded at Cadogan Hall, Phillip's band features performances by vocalists Matt Ford and Nicola Emmanuelle. This evening's programme is the second episode of the first series (if you missed the first programme, you can catch it on Sunday 7 August at 6:45pm). In February next year Matt Ford (John Wilson Orchestra, BBC Big Band) will be the special guest of the magnificent Strictly Smokin' Big Band at Sage Gateshead. Tickets for the concert on Friday 24 February are available HERE. Russell   

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Aycliffe Radio Jazz Time

Jazz Time Sundays 6.30pm-8.00pm (Repeat Tuesdays 8.00pm-9.30pm)

Playlist 24/07/22. (Repeated Tuesday 26/07/22)


Requests: Jack Emblow/John McLevy/Tony Compton, Miles Davis, Stan Kenton/ Lionel Hampton.

Request from Alex Clarke: Cory Weeds & The Jeff Hamilton Trio.

July 17 was Billie Holiday’s Birthday. Billie Holiday Lester Young Teddy Wilson.

Album review: Joe Webb - Summer Chill

Joe Webb (piano, Hammond organ); Alex Haines (guitar); Will Sach (double bass); João Caetano (percussion); Jas Kayser (drums); Fraser Smith (tenor sax, track 9); Kitty Liv Durham (auxiliary percussion)

Joe Webb has been living and working in London for the best part of ten years. Kansas Smitty's lockdown sessions, streamed from their then London base, won a whole new audience for a predominately younger, supremely talented generation of musicians. Pianist Webb was one of those musicians who made a great impact on the online viewing public. A sold out nationwide tour playing the music of Art Tatum further enhanced the genial Webb's reputation. Now there is a new album to enjoy, Summer Chill.

Coming shortly: Paul Skerritt & The Danny Miller Big Band

(Press release)

Renowned swing and jazz singer Paul Skerritt has joined forces with the sublime Danny Miller Big Band, a band comprised of a collective of the finest musicians the North West of England has to offer.

Together, they bring to you an amazing theatre show!
They’ll deliver a bit of swinging, a splash of comedy (probably…) and many swinging classics from all of the legendary crooners, Bublé to Darin, Sinatra to Seth MacFarlane.
Paul and Danny promise a killer evening of dynamic, hard-swinging entertainment fit for all!
Sponsored by Colmans Of South Shields.

RIP Michael Henderson (1951-2022)

Born in Mississippi, raised in Detroit, bassist Michael Henderson was touring with Stevie Wonder when Miles Davis recruited him to play on several of his mid-seventies' jazz-rock albums, including Jack Johnson, Live-Evil, Agharta and On the Corner (see album cover). Leaving Davis to pursue a solo r & b ballad singing career, Henderson enjoyed several chart hits working with Norman Connors and others.    

Michael Henderson died on Tuesday, 19 July. He was 71. Russell

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Remembering Tom Hall @ The Grand Hotel, Tynemouth - July 23

Rendezvous Jazz: Maureen Hall (vocals); Gavin Lee (clarinet, alto sax); Don Fairley (trombone); Brian Chester (piano); John Robinson (double bass); George Davidson (drums, vocals)

The rather grand setting of Tynemouth's Grand Hotel hosted Maureen Hall's get together of family and friends to remember the life and times of Tom Hall. As the room tucked into a sumptuous buffet, Maureen recounted stories of Tom's mischievous sense of humour, whether at work, at the cricket club or on holiday, and, to put the icing on the cake, for the best part of an hour and a half, Rendezvous Jazz played some good old Dixieland and New Orleans jazz.

Preview: Charlie Watts: My Life as a Rolling Stone - BBC 2

Charlie Watts was a big jazz fan. This evening's documentary on BBC 2 (9:00pm) promises quite a lot of jazz. The Rolling Stone's Fulham Town Hall big band album has become something of a collector's item, perhaps it, and some of those involved, will feature. Tune in to find out!

King Bees @ Lindisfarne Social Cub, Wallsend - July 22

Michael Littlefield (guitar, vocals); Scott Taylor (harmonica, vocals); Dominic Hornsby (piano, vocals); Ted Harbot (double bass); Giles Holt (drums) + Mick Cantwell (vocals)

Lindisfarne Social Cub supports a regular blues night and this evening King Bees were in town. Blues fans and musicians were out in force to hear one of the great Chicago blues bands. Two sets, classic '50s Chicago blues numbers, Wallsend is hardly the South Side, but, hey, these guys could hold their own with all comers, from Wallsend to the Windy City and every two-bit juke joint in between. 

Happy Birthday Alan Barnes

If Facebook has got it right - and they sometimes do - today is Alan Barnes' birthday. 

A living legend, the multi-reed instrumentalist has probably had more mentions on BSH and made more visits to the north east than any other jazz musician - ubiquitous is his middle name.

As a reminder of  some of those visits go HERE.

Happy 63rd Alan - Lance (and all at BSH).

Friday, July 22, 2022

JATLP: Dean Stockdale's Celebrating Oscar Quartet - July 22

Dean Stockdale (piano); Bim Williams (guitar); Gavin Barras (bass); Gaz Hughes (drums).

A glance at the personnel listed above may suggest that this was a gig at the Railway in Stockport as all four musicians are frequently mentioned in despatches by our way out west correspondent Mike Farmer. However, the grand piano and the old masters adorning the walls of this historic building soon squashed that thought.

Yaatri @ The Globe, Newcastle - July 21

(© Ken Drew)
Liam Narain DeTar (guitar); Felix Bertulis-Webb (keyboards); Rosie Miles (vocals); Joe Wilkes (bass); Dom Kilsby (drums)

GemArts' Masala Festival rocked up at the Globe to present Yaatri. In a joint promotion with Jazz North East and Newcastle Jazz Co-op, the evening would feature five accomplished young musicians roaming across a wide musical landscape. Band leader and guitarist Liam Narain DeTar fuses many influences from his British-Asian heritage to produce an Indo jazz-meets-retro jazz-rock kaleidoscopic sound. 

Noel Dennis Trio @ the Black Swan - July 21

 (© Mike Tilley)
Noel Dennis (trumpet); Mark Williams (guitar); Andy Champion (double bass).

An enjoyable vignette that concentrated, in the main, around segments of Miles Davis' multifaceted career ably portrayed in this rare sighting of Noel Dennis, a trumpet player who isn't heard as frequently as his ability deserves.

The material included standards such as The Good Life (arr. Mark Williams), Love For Sale and Stella by Starlight. A cleverly morphed Blue in Green/Bitches Brew, Wayne Shorter's Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum, Nardis and Walkin' with the latter number a feature for Andy Champion whose bass resonance reached every corner of the Black Swan's subterranean concert space - beautiful! Mark Williams wore his metaphorical coat of many colours his sound matching the mood of whichever Milesian era was evoked.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Yaatri LIVE at The Globe - Tonight!

(Press release)

Tonight, @gemartsuk Masala Festival comes to The Globe, in conjunction with @jazznortheast, with the band, @yaatrimusic.

Yaatri is an award winning five-piece art-rock/jazz crossover group formed in Leeds in 2018. Their blend of complex composition and ethereal soundscapes captivates the heart as well as the mind. Influenced by the momentum of the rhythms of India, immersive timbres of electronic music, and energy of rock and roll, their music has a strong sense of purpose and journey.
Led by Indian/American guitarist and composer Liam Narain DeTar, Yaatri is Felix Bertulis-Webb on keys, Rosie Miles on vocals, Joe Wilkes on bass and Dom Kilsby on drums.
Tickets on sale on our website or on the door!

Noel Dennis Trio - Thursday 21st July at The Black Swan

 (Press release)

Thursday 21st July sees the return of professional jazz trumpet and flugelhorn player Noel Dennis with his trio that includes Mark Williams on guitar and Andy Champion on bass performing a mixture of be-bop and post-bop. Expect to hear jazz influenced by some of Noel’s favourite trumpet players – Miles Davis, Tom Harrell, Chet Baker and Woody Shaw, with a selection of standards thrown into the mix that will be thoroughly explored through deep improvisation. 

Thursday 21st July at The Black Swan
Tickets £10 / £12 On the Door
Doors open 7 pm/ Starts: 8 pm.


Album review: Betty Accorsi Quartet - Growing Roots

Elisabetta Accorsi (soprano sax/voice); Daniel Hewson (piano); Andy Hamill (basses); Scott MacDonald (drums).

Accorsi studied in Milan at the Conservatoire Giuseppe Verdi before moving to London's Trinity Laban (PGDip) before completing an Mmus at Goldsmith's.

Accorsi is an accomplished and inventive saxophonist who also sings rather well. However, going on the evidence of this and her 2020 debut album The Cutty Sark Suite, her true forté  may be as an impressionist jazz composer. This in no way denigrates her instrumental or vocal skills. As a sax player she can hold her own alongside the best, there's some wild soprano playing on both of her albums that could well point one or two of the current whiz kids in the direction of the exit whilst the vocal moments have a poetic charm about them.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Trefor Owen Trio @ the Railway, Stockport - July 19

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Trefor Owen, Billy Buckley (guitars); Dave Luckhurst (bass).

Trefor and I were chatting before the gig and I asked him who were his favourite guitarists. He mentioned Pat Martino, George Benson and Wes Montgomery which I thought was a pretty good choice. He actually  included in his set list tonight a couple of Montgomery’s compositions - Four on Six and Road Song. As with most of Trefor's gigs he did not need the services of a drummer to keep things in tempo. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

August Jazzwise

The August print edition of Jazzwise is now on the shelves of WHS and is well worth a punt (£6.95 to be precise). The contents are great and, not without a little local interest in the form of James Kitchman who, like so many others paid his dues at Dave Weisser's workshop sessions at 'The Chilli' in Heaton. James is interviewed and his first album - First Choice - is awarded four stars and acknowledged as one of the Editor's Choice albums - praise indeed. BSH mentions... 

There's also a tremendous piece on  Mingus by Kevin Le Gendre with observations by bassists Boris Kozlov and Christian McBride - I call Mingus 'Ellington in a hoodie' because it's much more raw. It's more street than Ellington.

Alter Ego @ Blaydon Jazz Club - July 18

(© Roly Veitch)
Dave Hignett (trumpet, flugelhorn); Keith Robinson (alto sax); Niall Armstrong (tenor sax, flute); Joe Steels (guitar); Tony Abell (bass guitar); David Johnson (drums)

Hotter than Hades, Blaydon Riviera Jazz Club welcomed Alter Ego. A sextet mining the Jazz Messengers' tradition with a measure of samba and a slew of band compositions, Alter Ego arrived with debutant Joe Steels in the (metaphorical) band bus. The established frontline - Dave Hignett, Keith Robinson and Niall Armstrong - would knock out some fine, no nonsense solos, supported by bassist Tony Abel and Tyne Valley Youth Big Band alumnus, drummer David Johnson. Oh, yes, and the new recruit, guitarist Joe Steels. 

Monday, July 18, 2022

Calvert and the Old Fools @ Dorman's Middlesbrough July 14

Sam Calvert (drums); Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Dean Stockdale (piano); Andrew Meadowcroft (vocals/trumpet); Tony Wood (double bass).

Most of the audience knew not to take the band's title too literally.  A night of first class entertaining jazz was delivered by a band who clearly enjoy playing together.

Andrew's fine singing was featured on all but one number in the first set which began with Have You Met Miss Jones? Excellent solos from Richie and Dean backed by Sam's drums and Tony's bass set the style for the night. 

Freddie Garner Quartet @ the Railway, Stockport - July 17

(© Jeff Pritchard)
Freddie Garner (keys); Jim Collins  (alto/tenor sax/flute); James Adolpho (bass); Phil Bennett (drums).

For a moment I thought the Railway had brought in a summer dress code with every member of the band wearing shorts and also half the audience similarly attired. I felt a bit overdressed and, if this hot weather continues, I think I’ll have to dig out the shorts I bought on an NCL Jazz Cruise many moons ago and hope I can still fit into them!

Ken Peplowski GoFundMe appeal

(Photo from Lockerbie 2010)
Steve Andrews has sent me an update on Ken Peplowski's current state of play healthwise. Ken played many times in the north east and many of us will have fond memories of hearing play at North Shields, Heaton and further afield. Undoubtedly one of the greatest clarinet/mainstream tenor players of modern times and, if his playing has given you pleasure either live or on disc, now is the time to say thank you in positive terms - Lance

Preview: Alter Ego @ Blaydon Jazz Club - tonite!!!

Hard bop sextet Alter Ego will be cookin' big time tonight at the Black Bull in Blaydon. Join the frontline horns Keith RobinsonNiall Armstrong and Dave Hignett and the band's ace rhythm section - debutant Joe Steels (guitar), Tony Abel (bass guitar) and drummer David Johnson - for an eight o'clock start. Seven pounds at the door (see Roly at the bar). It's gonna be a scorcher!!!  Russell   

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Jazz on a Summer's Day: The Ruth Lambert Quartet @ St James' & St Basil's Church - July 17

(© Pam Young)
Ruth Lambert (vocals); Alan Law (piano); Paul Grainger (double bass); Tim Johnston (drums)

The forecast high temperatures didn't quite materialise. A welcome breeze helped keep everyone cool or at least cooler than anticipated. Mature trees in St James' and St Basil's Church grounds in Fenham, Newcastle, offered some shade to the jazz parishioners there to listen to Ruth Lambert sing another fine selection of GASbook numbers.


The Talking Pictures TV channel is often of interest, serving up, as it does, a variety of films that present vintage films that we've forgotten about, vintage films that we wish we had forgotten about, films we missed the first time round and films we're glad that we did miss the first time round!

However, most of these films, invariably shot in black and white and not always particularly well-acted, often have some jazz interest whether in plot or in soundtrack.

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